How Much Does COVID-19 Treatment Cost On Medicare?

Medicare expert Christian Worstell explains the costs for COVID-19 tests and treatment for Medicare beneficiaries.

Original Medicare (Part A and Part B) and all Medicare Advantage plans (Part C) provide full coverage for the following services and treatments related to COVID-19:

  • Virus tests
  • Antibody tests (if FDA-approved)
  • Vaccine (when one becomes available)

This means you won’t pay a dime out-of-pocket for Medicare-approved COVID-19 tests or a vaccine. Medicare will even pay for up to eight at-home COVID-19 tests every month. 

Medicare coverage of COVID-19 tests will remain in place for as long as the national declaration of a public health emergency is in place. Once the public health emergency is declared to be over, COVID-19 tests and vaccines may likely be covered the same way many other tests and vaccines are covered by Medicare.

That means there may be certain terms and conditions such as the need to display symptoms, be of a certain age and so forth. Different tests and vaccines are covered in different ways by Medicare, so it remains to be seen how Medicare will cover COVID-19 tests and vaccines going forward. 

Medicare costs for COVID-19 treatment and prescriptions

Medicare provides the same coverage for inpatient hospitalizations due to COVID-19 as it does for all other covered conditions, under the same guidelines regarding deductibles, coinsurance and copayments. 

If a Medicare beneficiary visited a doctor to undergo a COVID-19 test, the test and the doctor’s visit will both be covered in full. Beneficiaries should not expect to be billed for the office visit that was required to take the test. Again, this may change once the public health emergency declaration is lifted.

Part A costs

Part A (which covers hospital stays) requires a deductible of $1,600 per benefit period in 2023. Once that is satisfied, a beneficiary would then not be responsible for any further Part A out-of-pocket costs related to their hospital stay itself (assuming the hospital stay lasted fewer than 60 days).

Part B costs

Depending on what types of services and items were administered to a beneficiary during an inpatient hospital stay, it’s possible that they may incur charges for his Part B deductible or coinsurance.

In 2023, the Medicare Part B deductible is $226 for the year, and you typically pay a 20 percent coinsurance cost for Medicare approved treatment after meeting your deductible.

Part D prescription drug costs

You may want to check with your Part D plan carrier to see how those medications will be covered under his plan. 

If you believe you faced unfair or incorrect charges as a result of COVID-19 treatment, you have the right to file an appeal. Learn more about your rights as a Medicare beneficiary.

Medicare expands telehealth and other benefits during coronavirus outbreak

Medicare has also expanded its coverage of telehealth services to allow patients to consult with their doctor virtually and limit the amount of in-person contact during the coronavirus pandemic. While certain telehealth benefits may remain in place on a permanent basis, others may change once the public health emergency is over.

Medicare has also expanded certain other benefits during the COVID-19 outbreak, such as loosening prescription drug refill limits. These benefits may also change once COVID-19 is no longer considered a public health emergency. 

If you have any additional questions about the Medicare plans available where you live, you can call today to speak with a licensed insurance agent who can help you compare plan costs, find out what plans cover your drugs and – if you’re eligible – help you sign up for the right plan for you.​

You can also compare plans online for free, with no obligation to enroll.

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Christian

About the author

Christian Worstell is a senior Medicare and health insurance writer with MedicareAdvantage.com. He is also a licensed health insurance agent. Christian is well-known in the insurance industry for the thousands of educational articles he’s written, helping Americans better understand their health insurance and Medicare coverage.

Christian’s work as a Medicare expert has appeared in several top-tier and trade news outlets including Forbes, MarketWatch, WebMD and Yahoo! Finance.

Christian has written hundreds of articles for MedicareAvantage.com that teach Medicare beneficiaries the best practices for navigating Medicare. His articles are read by thousands of older Americans each month. By better understanding their health care coverage, readers may hopefully learn how to limit their out-of-pocket Medicare spending and access quality medical care.

Christian’s passion for his role stems from his desire to make a difference in the senior community. He strongly believes that the more beneficiaries know about their Medicare coverage, the better their overall health and wellness is as a result.

A current resident of Raleigh, Christian is a graduate of Shippensburg University with a bachelor’s degree in journalism.

If you’re a member of the media looking to connect with Christian, please don’t hesitate to email our public relations team at Mike@tzhealthmedia.com.

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